Are Startups Making D-FW’s Entrepreneur Community More Diverse?

By Jill Cowan and Tyler Davis
The Dallas Morning News

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Karyl Innis, chief executive and founder of a Dallas-based career management company, said measuring entrepreneurship among women can be complicated. For many women — at least, historically — starting a business means building a successful strategy into their lives while carefully managing the financial risks to their families. As a result, many women are successfully self-employed but don’t pay other employees. Thus, they would NOT show up in the new Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs.

The Dallas Morning News

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?

For some, the word may not immediately conjure the image of an immigrant restaurateur who grows his business slowly, adding locations only after years of success.

Others may not think of a mother who opens her own consulting shop as the second act in a career spent climbing the ranks of a big corporation.

Now, a new survey of employers — the result of a partnership between the U.S. Census Bureau, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Minority Business Development Agency — aims to better understand the full range of the nation’s entrepreneurs.

The first Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs was designed to fill in gaps between the Census Bureau’s business owners survey done every five years. Arnobio Morelix, a senior research analyst with the Kauffman Foundation, said the new data will be not only more timely but more localized.

“I’m personally very excited about this data because it really tells the story of American entrepreneurship,” he said. “It’s going to have data we’ve literally never had before [that will help us] understand what kind of problems we may be facing.”

In Dallas-Fort Worth and Texas, the business community is still dominated by companies owned by men and by white people — though to a lesser extent than other states and cities, according to a Dallas Morning News analysis of the survey results.

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